Help the babies – Knitting group special meeting on Saturday 25th February

We have received an urgent appeal for singlets, blankets, bootees and jackets for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Wellington Hospital. The library knitting group will hold a special meeting this Saturday 25th February to work on items for this appeal. If you could spare a little time on this day your help would be gratefully received.

Share some fun and fellowship while doing some good in the world!
Wool and patterns will be provided. Being small, the items will be quick to knit.
We will meet behind the escalators on the first floor of Central Library from 1-4PM
A continuous and substantial afternoon tea will be supplied.

CONTACT : Sue Dale
E-mail :
Phone : (04) 801 4146

Books to inspire you:

Syndetics book coverKnitting for good! : a guide to creating personal, social & political change, stitch by stitch / Betsy Greer.
“Every time we knit, we have the opportunity to create positive change in ourselves, our community, and in the world. That’s Betsy Greer’s fervent belief, and in this book she shows us how. Betsy explores the ways we can use knitting to slow down in a fast-paced culture, while using the craft to benefit charities in our communities, to advocate for worthwhile causes, and to support individuals and communities across the globe.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting green : conversations and planet friendly projects / Ann Budd.
“Detailing a wide range of perspectives and approaches to environmental issues, this unique crafting manual offers ideas for knitting conscientiously. Leading figures of the industry, from designers to yarn company executives, share their methods for integrating green principles into their work and lives.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTogether : how small groups achieve big things / Henry Hemmings.
Together is about the extraordinary revival of small groups in Britain today.What happens when a room full of people decide to work towards the same dream? Why is it that when we come together in small groups we are so much more than the sum of our parts?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKnitting yarns : writers on knitting / edited and with an introduction by Ann Hood.
“The impressive collection of writers here have contributed essays that celebrate knitting and knitters. They share their knitting triumphs and disasters as well as their life triumphs and disasters.” (Syndetics summary)

Doodles and Zentangles

It happens that I’ve always dreamed of being able to draw. Unfortunately I don’t really have the talent. Not that I’m that bad, but I would never consider myself an illustrator.

To fulfill this dream of mine I decided to try doodles and zentangles. They are pattern like drawings that are told to help free your mind and is good to relax and even helps with pain management.

So I bought some cool fineliner pens and put it into work:


We have some books that you can be inspired by:

Syndetics book coverThe art of zentangle : 50 inspiring drawings, designs & ideas for the meditative artist / [senior editor, Stephanie Meissner].
The Art of Zentangle teaches artists of all skill levels the meditative process of combining shapes and lines to make complex and interesting final pieces of artwork.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZentangle : the inspiring and mindful drawing method / Jane Marbaix.
“Aimed at beginners, this book shows how beautiful images can be created from repeating patterns. Accredited Zentangle teacher Jane Marbaix demonstrates a range of patterns one step at a time and offers a sourcebook of her own designs to inspire tanglers to try something different. Proven to reduce stress and enhance creativity in people of all ages, Zentangle does not require a background in practical art or expensive materials to produce pleasing result, as Anyone Can Zentangle proves. A wonderfully mindful artform helping attain zen like peaceful states in our day to day lives.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beauty of zentangle : inspirational examples from 137 tangle artists worldwide / Suzanne McNeill, CZT and Cindy Shepard, CZT.
“Zentangle is fast becoming a worldwide phenomenon, attracting individuals from all walks of life. The Beauty of Zentangle celebrates this simple but elegant new craft with hundreds of sensational one-of-a-kind designs from around the world. This invitation-only collection of the very best Zentangle-inspired art includes stunning masterpieces from breakthrough artists and CZTs like Suzanne McNeill, Cindy Shepard, Marie Browning, Sandy Steen Bartholomew, and many more. Their inventive tangles are at the forefront of a new wave of creative expression and personal freedom.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZentangle untangled : inspiration and prompts for meditative drawing / Kass Hall.
“Unwind, Tangle and Relax! In Zentangle Untangled, Kass Hall introduces you to the fun and relaxing “doodling” process of Zentangle©–an engaging art form that uses repetitive patterns to create striking works of art that anyone can achieve regardless of age or artistic ability. Following an explanation of the Zentangle© process, inside you will find 12 step-by-step demonstrations showing you how to create enticing tangle patterns, followed by several examples of how to add eye-popping color to your pieces, as well as fun ways to use tangles in your art journals. Captivating pieces from Kass and a slew of other artists will further satisfy your craving for inspiration!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover500 tangled artworks : a showcase of inspired illustrated designs / Beckah Krahula.
“Become inspired by this vast collection of meditative drawing tiles known as tangles!” (Syndetics summary)

Knit-in! World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday at the Central Library


What have you got on your needles this week?
Wellington Central Library celebrates World Wide Knit in Public Day this Saturday, 13 June with various knitting groups coming in to be part of a community knit-in event!

Join this knitting extravaganza and connect with other knitters to exchange ideas and inspiration, and enjoy each other’s company, doing something you love.  Anyone can come in to experience knitting or crocheting. There are also lots of books and magazines to browse and get ideas and inspiration from.

A splendid opportunity you can’t miss! Morning and afternoon tea will be provided.

Syndetics book coverKnitting [sound recording] / Anne Bartlett ; read by Beverley Dunn.
“Longlisted for the 2006 Miles Franklin award. Destined to be a bestseller, already a favourite with book groups. Rave reviews in the US by a local South Australian author. It’s been ten months since Jack died, and Sandra, a tightly wound academic, copes with her grief by immersing herself in the history of textiles. When she and Martha, a gifted knitter, meet over an unconscious body on the footpath, the unlikely threads of their lives tangle into each other. Sandra invites Martha to join her in a professional collaboration, but what begins as a working relationship becomes something deeply personal. Martha seems at ease with herself, in spite of her own experience of grief. But what does she carry around in those three large bags? “This is a deliciously daring and original book. Yes, it has to be said: it’s a jolly good yarn.” – The Advertiser “Knitting maintains a soft level of suspense with the unpredictability of its characters, whose simmering thoughts threaten to burst into action. The believable, well-constructed dialogue captures the tension and tenderness of friendship.” – Sydney Morning Herald” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDress-to-impress knitted scarves / Pam Powers.
“This designer collection contains signature designs for ascots, cowls, and other scarves that will make the perfect fashion statement no matter the occasion One-of-a-kind designs that derive their inspiration from sources as diverse as cowboy bandanas and vintage lace petticoats, worked up in a range of textured and colorwork stitches and fibers Photos include ideas for different ways the scarves can be worn Collection includes a stitch/technique photo tutorial section” (Syndetics summary)


How to Knit a Friend

Last year I happened to see this really cool book on our display…

Syndetics book coverKnitted dolls / Arne [Nerjordet] & Carlos [Zachrison]. “These knitted versions of themselves are so hilarious and scarily accurate. It was too much to resist and I had to take up the challenge being a bit of a mad knitter and willing to give almost anything a go! Luckily I had all the colours I needed in my ‘stash bags’ and after much deliberation with my daughter chose which of the gorgeous dolls to make.

SisselHer name is ‘Sissel’. It was easy to follow the instructions to start with, until I got to turning the ankles. Then, for some reason I ended up getting all confused and gave poor Sissel two left feet! Still, it doesn’t seem to matter much overall to her appearance and I don’t think she’ll be going out dancing anytime soon… I hope! (queue creepy music). And here she is! Isn’t she cute? My daughter just loves her. There are also lots and lots of gorgeous patterns for their dolls’ clothes so now we have to start dressing her.” (Ellie, Newtown Branch Library)

Check out Arne amd Carlos’s other books too:

Syndetics book cover55 Christmas balls to knit : colourful festive ornaments, tree decorations, centrepieces, wreaths, window decorations / Arne [Nerjordet] & Carlos [Zachrison] ; [translation by Carol Huebscher Rhoades].

Syndetics book coverEaster knits / Arne & Carlos.

iPad vs. paper : win-win

Syndetics book coverIn The Repurposed Library by Lisa Occhipinti the books themselves become the craft material – it’s full of projects that require you to gut, slice, fold and glue old books to create a range of adornments, containers and decorative yet functional items. You could choose to make a Bestseller Bookshelf, a Pagework Quilt or a Literary Lamp!  A great way to reincarnate old books that you can pick up cheaply at booksales.

The project that caught my eye was the Kindle Keeper.  I adapted the concept to make it work with my iPad – the perfect combination of my favourite digital device and the aesthetics of a hardback book.

iPad keeperThe first step was rummaging around at the booksale to find a book that was just a bit bigger than the iPad, then I was underway.  Lisa Occhipinti suggests using velcro strips to hold your e-reader inside the recovered bookcover.  I felt this would be a little insecure and instead combined her idea with the classic “book safe” where a cavity is cut into the book block.  I used a craft knife to remove an iPad sized chunk from the middle of the pages …  this takes more time that you might think!  Then I glued the remaining “frame” made of pages together and to the back cover of the book.

perfect fit!
perfect fit!

Now my iPad can nestle safely inside.   I used purple sugar paper to cover the frame made by the cut pages. This looked a lot better than the left over edges of the pages and also disguised where my cutting was less than perfect.

A stripey lining glued into the back of the cavity made a satisfying contrast and I replaced the original cover with a piece of heavy paper in a leaf design.

inside with stripey lining paper
inside with stripey lining paper
new dust jacket
new dust jacket

I really like the way there is still a hint of the old red book that this once was.

I had thought my next project might be transforming a vintage cookbook into a kitchen utensil holder.  Though after seeing the trailer that includes the author making a bookmobile (shown on the book cover above) I might just get the glue out again and try that first …

Do check out her blog for further inspiration.

Red hoodie for winter

red hoodie frontNow that it’s a bit colder, I’m taking every opportunity to wear my cosy new red hoodie. This is designed by Ysolda Teague, one of my favourite knitwear designers and a bit of a knitting rockstar. Her patterns balance cute, feminine details with very well-constructed, flattering tailoring and they are a total joy to knit. red hoodie side

red hoodie bkHer book Little Red in the City came out last year, and as well as having 7 lovely jersey and cardigan patterns, it has a solid reference section with extensive information on tailoring, technique and garment care. Wellington City Libraries also has a couple of zines, Whimsical Little Knits & Whimsical Little Knits Two, which are treasure troves of modern, sweet treats like this Ishbel shawl.


(click on the photos to view larger version)